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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

(voices) Ben Stiller • Chris Rock • Jada Pinkett-Smith • David Schwimmer • Bernie Mac
DIRECTOR: Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath

Zuba and Alex THE CONCEPT:
In this sequel to Madagascar, Alex, the lion (Stiller), Marty, the zebra (Rock), Melman, the giraffe (Schwimmer) and Gloria, the hippo (Smith), who are stranded on the shores of Madagascar, are persuaded that their crashed plane has been repaired by the penguins, but it only stays aloft long enough for the animals to crash again, this time in Africa, where Alex meets his father, Zuba (Mac)

U.S. RELEASE: November 6 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG


Ben Stiller and Alex“I was excited to get back into [the movie]. Until you see the final product you don’t really understand it fully; seeing how all the work leads up to what the movie is. It’s a strange thing; you come in and out and in and out of the [recording studio to do the dialogue].”Chris Rock and Marty

“It seemed like we worked six or seven years on the first film! And when they finally showed me a movie it was like, ‘I guess I had something to do with that. I guess I’m in it!’ You don’t even remember doing the lines, it took so long.”David Swimmer and Melman

“I love my character Melman, I think he’s a sweetheart. My heart goes out to how awkward he feels. I mean it must be awkward being in that body. I’m not a hypochondriac, but I can really feel for him, and this unrequited love he has for Gloria. In this movie he finally summons the courage to do something about it, so it’s a big story for him.”

JADA PINKETT SMITH on playing Gloria the hippo:
Madagascar 2 - Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith, who plays Gloria as a child“I’ve been that girl that’s always wanted more body, so this was a great opportunity for me. I got a character, and my dreams came true. I got a lady that’s got a lot of body, and she’s very proud of it, and I think that’s a really wonderful message for adults as well as children. Your body is what you have, and you got to be happy within your own skin. Happiness comes from within. Self love comes from within. And if you can truly, authentically love yourself, that will exude and permeate through the physical universe, and you will attract people who will love you. That’s who Gloria is; she’s a lovable, hefty mamma.”

“The movie’s about friendship; I think both films are about friendship.”

“Yes, for sure, I think that’s the core of why people relate to these characters, they’re all there for each other, they’re all unique individuals, and they are all really well-drawn characters.”

SCHWIMMER on the pros and cons of doing an animated movie:
“It’s a whole new audience in my case. There are all these kids that are totally unfamiliar with my previous work. Suddenly, I’ve got five, six, seven year olds that are just dying to have me do the voice and to introduce their friends to Melman, so it’s a real pleasure.”

“I agree, it’s very rare that I get to participate in a film that my children can actually watch, that I don’t have to worry about, ‘Okay, close your ears, cover your eyes at this part’ [she laughs]. So for me, that’s refreshing.”

“The characters definitely have aspects of expressions and looks of us, I don’t quite understand how they put that into it, but they are versions of us. But I think it’s great that they’re their own characters too.”

“They kind of look like us if being drawn by some guy at an amusement park.”

“Early in the movie when the plane is going down, and I blurt out, ‘I love you Gloria,’ and Alex and Marty turn around and look at me, and I just freeze and say, ‘You know, like I love the beach, or a good book, or the beach,’ when I saw that I was like, ‘How did they get my face?’ I remember that distinctly.”

Madagascar 2 - Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith, who plays Gloria as a child“The animators did a fabulous job recreating the aesthetics of Africa. You know, Africa is a huge continent, but they definitely captured the beauty of it. Africa’s probably one of the most spiritual and most beautiful places that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting and, just like the characters in the movie, when I set foot on the grounds of Africa, I felt like I’d returned to my roots, I felt like I was home.”

STILLER on Bernie Mac’s sudden and untimely death:
“I didn’t get to work with him. I did my scenes separately, but I heard a bunch of the scenes as we were going along. I’d see them edited together and he is amazing in the movie. It’s really sad. I feel bad that I never got a chance to talk to him about it, because he brings so much heart and warmth to the movie.”

“I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting or working with Bernie. I’m a huge fan of his work and I think you’ll see in the movie he lends a lot of his talent, his warmth and his spirit to the film, so I’m proud to be in the same movie as him.”

“I knew Bernie, he was a great guy, and I was actually surprised when I saw the movie, I don’t know how it got past me that Bernie was in the film. I was happy that I was able to be a part of one of his last works. Loss is never easy, but I must say that Bernie did a lot of great work while he was here, and he’s going to be missed.”

SCHWIMMER on the possibility of Madagascar 3:
“I would definitely do another one; they’re so much fun to do. I think it’s amazing the work the animators do. I’d love to see them go to India; that would be interesting.”

“I agree with David that India would be a really cool place to do Madagascar 3. I’d be really interested in knowing what animals are there in the wild.”

“I was pitching Australia. If you’ve been to Australia and India, you’ll pick Australia too.”

STILLER on whether he thinks the characters should end up returning to the Central Park Zoo, where they started from:
“It would be interesting if they get back to the zoo and they don’t really like it anymore because they’ve outgrown it.”

Melman (Schwinner), Gloria (Smith), Alex (Stiller) and Marty (Rock)

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa site
Images above © Dreamworks
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

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